Sie sind auf Seite 1von 166

California

gionai

nlity

e/vrtd f

9xxd<beA

&ls9tidh?ioonh

Q>li'iubelh c/uc/t

Flowerless Plants

Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2007 with funding from

Microsoft Corporation

http://www.archive.org/details/flowerlessplantsOOhaleiala

Go Forth Under the Open Sky and List to Nature's Teachings.

Bryant.

Flowerless Plants

Ferns, Mushrooms, Mosses, Lichens, and

Seaweeds

By

ELIZABETH H. HALE, A.B.

Head of Department,

Public Schools, Brooklyn, New York

Nature ever yields reward

To him who seeks, and loves her best.

Cornwall.

NEW YORK

GEORGE S. HULBERT & COMPANY

1907

Copyright, 1907, by George S. Hulbert & Company

The Trow Press, New York

PREFACE

mu

•m

OcWsq77^7

The purpose of this book is threefold:

1. To interest children in flowerless plants and to

lead them to a desire for further knowledge.

2. To present a few facts in such a way as to enable the reader to discover for himself others equally in-

teresting.

3. To aid many who have found it difficult to ob-

tain information on this subject without a tedious search through volumes not easily procured. It is earnestly to be hoped that this book will in no sense displace the study of the real plants, but that it may be rather an incentive and an aid to field work.

More can be learned out "under the open sky" than

from any book, and there is greater pleasure in knowl-

edge thus gained. This book is but an introduction

to nature's flowerless plants, for this is all that can be

presented in so small a volume.

An effort has been made to secure illustrations that

will be helpful, and to keep the language within the

comprehension of the young readers, whom we wish

to reach.

been used, and these in such a way as to be readily

understood. For several years the author has studied nature in

5

For this reason few technical terms have

PREFACE

the woods and fields, and at home with the micro-

scope. Among the books consulted which have been

especially helpful for ferns are Gray's Manual, Mrs.

Dana's How to Know the Ferns, Clute's Our Ferns in

Their Haunts, and Waters' s Ferns. To the last we are especially indebted for information about spores and

the growing of young ferns.

Marshall's Mushroom Book, Gibson's Our Edible

Toadstools and Mushrooms, Palmer's About Mush-

rooms, and Atkinson's Studies of American Fungi have

been most helpful in the work on those interesting

plants.

For the study of mosses and lichens Macmillan's

Footnotes from the Pages of Nature, Grout's books on Mosses, and Lindsay's British Lichens were consulted.

Hervey's Sea Mosses and Arnold's Sea Beach at Ebb

Tide were of great assistance in the study of seaweeds.

Nearly all the illustrations were from the author's own specimens. To Mr. Henry E. Bedford we are

indebted for the photographs, and to Miss Sylvia C.

Warren for her assistance in the color work and in the

pen and ink sketches.

To Miss Emma L. Wagenseil we are under obliga- tions for some of our specimens of mosses.

Our thanks are also due to Mr. Edward B. Shallow,

Associate Superintendent of Schools in Greater New

York, for reading the manuscript, for helpful sugges-

tions, and kindly words of encouragement.

6

CONTENTS

 

PAGE

Nature's Teachings

9

Parts of a Fern

13

How Ferns Grow

.15

Other Ways to Start New Ferns

19

Ferns in Spring

22

Through the Year with the Ferns

25

The Marsh Fern

.

.28

The Bracken

30

The Rattlesnake Fern

33

The Ebony Spleenwort

36

The Maidenhair Fern

38

The Osmundes

40

The Lady Fern

44

The Sensitive Fern

46

The Christmas Fern

48

The Spinulose Wood Fern

50

The Common Polypody

52

The Rusty Woodsia

54

The Evergreen Wood Fern

57

Ferns in Stone and Coal

58

Mushrooms

62

Parts of a Mushroom

65

How Mushrooms Grow

68

The Common Meadow Mushroom

70

The Fairy-Ring Mushroom

73

7

CONTENTS

 

PAGE

The Boleti

76

Pink Caps

77

The Amanita Family

 

79

Tree Mushrooms

82

puffballs

86

The Coral Fungi

.

.

.

 

88

Mosses

91

Parts of the Moss Plant

94

Tree Mosses

.

98

Peat Moss

99

Fern Mosses

102

Hair-Cap Mosses

103

Hypnum Mosses

105

Water Mosses

109

Other Common Mosses

 

113

Lichens

119

Reindeer Moss

123

Iceland Moss

 

124

Lichens as Dyestuffs

126

A Few Common Lichens

128

Seaweeds

132

Ulva

135

Fucus, or Rockweed

 

136

Sargassum, or Gulfweed

 

138

Edible Seaweeds

141

Giant Seaweeds

 

144

 

.

.

.

Sea Tangle

145

Sea Flowers

148

8

NATURE'S TEACHINGS

Longfellow tells us to go to the woods and hills

and learn lessons from nature.

another of our poets, says

And Bryant, too,

"Go forth under the open sky and list

To Nature's teachings."

If you would do this, you might learn what a won-

derful teacher nature is.

Perhaps the birds would

tell you how they build their nests and take care of their

little ones.

In the woods and fields you would find

"On many a green branch swinging,

Little birdiets singing."

Soon you would learn to know each by its song,

even when you could not see it.

Then there are those busy little creatures,

the

insects and spiders ! They would show you how many-

things they have to do and how they do them. Among

them is

"The honeybee that wanders all day long

The field, the woodland, and the garden o'er,

To gather in his fragrant winter store."

9

NATURE'S TEACHINGS

Here, too, is the ant, whose example all idle peo-

ple are told to follow.

You may learn from the in-

sects that the smallest of God's creatures have work

to do.

The soil and the rocks can tell you wonderful

stories. They have traveled great distances and have

seen many strange sights along the way. When you

know them well, you can often find out where they

have come from. You have already learned many things about plants you can name their parts and you have seen the beauti-

ful blossoms fade and die. You know that from them

comes the seed with its baby plant wrapped close to protect it from harm.

But do you know that there are some plants upon

which no bright, fragrant blossoms are ever seen? It is about these flowerless plants that we are going

to read in this book. are not many of them.

Perhaps you think that there

If so, you are mistaken;

there is really a greater number of flowerless plants

than there is of flowering ones.

Among them are

ferns, mosses, and seaweeds. Others are the lichens,

ground pine, and fungi, such as toadstools, or mush-

rooms.

The ferns are the largest of them all.

also the most like the flowering plants.

They are

Like them

their leaves are closely packed away from the winter's

cold.

When spring comes, the ferns stretch up into

10

NATURE'S TEACHINGS

the light and send up green leaves borne upon

It is because the ferns are so much

slender stems.

like flowering plants that we are going to read about

them first.

As we go on with our story you will learn many

things about these plants.

But reading is not see-

ing, and Mother Nature's invitation is, "Come and

see."

You can learn more from the plants themselves

"under the open sky" than you can from books.

Then go into the woods and fields when you can.

But do not wait to do that. Use your eyes wherever

you are. In the country the ferns are growing along

the roadside.

Mosses, lichens,

and toadstools, or

mushrooms, are almost at your feet as you walk about.

Even in the city streets we may see these.

You may

find moss upon the walks, on the cellar wall, and in the

neighboring patches of short grass. Do not pass these

by if you would like to know what they can teach

you.

Do you remember the story of Fawn-footed Nannie and what she saw and heard? Suppose that you try

to make your ears and eyes like hers.

" ' Fawn-footed Nannie, where have you been?'

'Chasing the sunbeams into the glen,

Plunging thro' silver lakes after the moon,

f Tracking o'er meadows the footsteps of June.'

11

NATURE'S TEACHINGS

'Fawn-footed Nannie, what did you see?' 'Saw the fays sewing leaves on a tree;

Saw the waves counting the eyes of the stars,

Saw cloudlamps sleeping by sunset's red bars.'

'Nannie, dear Nannie, take me with you, too,

So I may listen and see as you do.'

'Nay! you must borrow my ear and my eye,

Or music will vanish and beauty will die.'

12

FERNS

PARTS OF A FERN

Let us first try to find out something about the

parts of a fern. Do you remember how many kinds of

roots you found when you studied flowering plants?

The roots of ferns resemble some of these. They are

like stems growing under the ground and sending out

little rootlets, as you see in the picture.

This under-

A Slender, Creeping Rootstock.

A Short, Stout Root-

stock.

ground stem is called a rootstock. Some rootstocks

are short and stout.

They send up their leaves in

circles, but only in the spring.

In these circles the

13

FERNS

younger leaves are always in the middle. In the very

center you will find circles of buds which afterward

grow into leaves.

Other kinds of ferns have long, slender rootstocl"

which creep along under the ground and have many

branches. The leaves of

these

come up

ular clusters,

in irreg-

or

else

°

single leaf grows up here

and there along the root-

stock.

New ones come

up every little while dur-

ing the summer.

The buds of ferns are

of

different from those

flowering plants.

They

are always coiled or folded

close. Very rarely do we

find this arrangement in

any other plant. When

a bud is all uncoiled, the leafy part is known as the

A Fern Frond.

Fern Buds

Uncoiling.

blade.

The stem, or stalk, of the fern leaf is called

a stipe. The blade and stipe together form the frond,

but the blade alone often receives this name. The work of a plant is to grow. The parts needed

for this work are a root, a stem, and leaves. has all of these.

The fern

Nature has given each part something to do. She

14

HOW FERNS GROW

says to the root: " Cling fast to the earth and hold

this plant in its place.

Get all the food and drink

that you can from the soil and give them to the

^&n."

To the stipe she says: "Take the food and water from the rootstock and carry them to the leaves, for

they need these to help them grow large and strong."

Then she asks the leaves to take the nourishment that

is brought them and to spread out their blades, so that

the light and moisture may reach every part, for she

wants them to grow just as fast as they can.

And the busy little ferns will help to make us

happy by doing their part to make our earth more

beautiful.

HOW FERNS GROW

We have learned that the work of all plants is to

grow. Flowering plants have other work to do. When

they have grown large and strong enough, they put forth flowers. Later still, they are very busy forming

By and by new plants

seeds and caring for them.

will grow from these seeds.

Flowerless plants do not have flowers or seeds, but

Mother Nature finds another way for them to give us new plants.

If, in midsummer, you look on the under side of

15

FERNS

the fronds of some of our common ferns you will see

many small, brownish spots.

These are fruit dots.

Sometimes each fruit dot has a thin, whitish cover-

This hides it until it is nearly

The fruit dots are made up of

ing.

ripe.

small bodies called spore cases. Within these are the spores, which are set free when ripe. These spores take the

Parts of Fern

Leaves with

Fruit Dots.

%

Forms of Spore Cases.

place of the seeds which we find in flowering plants.

From them come new plants.

Here are pictures of the spore cases of some of our

common ferns.

See how the

spores are scattered.

Notice the stalked spore case. Around it is a jointed

16

HOW FERNS GROW

ring.

When

the spores

within are nearly ripe the

This

ring becomes dry.

causes a strain that bursts the spore case. The ring

straightens out with

jerk, tearing

spore case and scattering

a

the

open

the

tions.

spores in

all

direc-

The

wind often

a, A Spore before it Begins to Grow

b, Opened Spore with Tube Show-

ing Cross Partitions and Root-like

Hairs; c, Tube with End Rattened

into Prothallium ; d, Tube with Prothallium Full Grown.

17

The Stalked Spore Case. 1, Closed

2, Open;. 3, Scattering the Seeds.

carries them great dis-

tances.

When the spores are

set free they fall to the

ground.

If the

soil

is

moist, they will begin

to grow in a few days.

The brown coat bursts

A long tube, di-

open.

vided into cells by cross

partitions, springs from

it. Then hairlike roots

are seen here and there.

These fasten the young

plant to the soil.

the

end of

the

Soon

tube

flattens out and forms

FERNS

a small, green, platelike object. This is called the pro- thal'li-um. When fully grown it is less than half an inch across. On the under side of this are two sets of organs. One set does the work of the stamens of the flower. The

other set does the work of the pistils. the contents of these two sets of or-

gans a new fern plant is formed.

By the union of

Young Fern Plants,

a, Prothallia from which Young Plants Grow;

b, Leaves of the Young Fern Plants.

The first leaves of the little plant are very small

and simple, not at all like the later ones.

They are so

nearly alike in most of our ferns that you cannot tell one from another when the plants are very small.

The young fern receives its food through the prothal-

lium until it is old enough to take care of itself.

the prothallium dies away.

Then

Do not mistake spores for seeds.

Both fall from

the parent plant when fully ripe. Both begin to grow if they fall upon a moist soil. But a seed, when planted,

sends up a plant like the parent ; a fern plant does not

18

OTHER WAYS TO START NEW FERNS

come up from a spore. The prothallium comes first,

and from that the fern grows.

If you have sharp eyes you may be able to find

fern prothallia in the woods or fields. Look for them

along the moist and shaded banks of a stream or on

decaying stumps.

florists', where they are found in the boxes used for growing young ferns. Sometimes they are on the

outside of flowerpots, where the spores have fallen accidentally and have begun to grow.

Perhaps you would like to raise some ferns from

spores. It is very easy and you would enjoy watching

them. Put some rich earth in a deep flowerpot saucer.

Scatter some spores over the surface of this earth, and

keep the soil moist by placing the saucer in a plate

You may also see them at the

containing a little water.

Cover the saucer with a

deep glass dish.

This screens it from the sun and keeps

the earth moist. Look for the spores to begin to grow

in about a week. Sometimes it takes longer than that;

so do not become discouraged if they do not appear

From three to seven years is required for

on time.

a fern to become old enough to have spores of its own.

OTHER WAYS TO START NEW FERNS

You have learned how ferns begin to produce spores,

and also how the young plants grow from these spores.

But the ferns have other ways to start new plants.

19

FERNS

Some of the rootstocks send out branches in all direc-

tions. After a while these branches send up their own

fronds. Then they separate from the old rootstock

and form new fern plants.

One dainty little fern has all along the under side

of the stem curious little bulbs about the size of a grain of pepper. After a while these fall to the ground. In a week or two new plants

begin to grow out of them.

Each bulb is made up of two

wb

llgJP'

j|B|y/

or three little

bits of fleshy

green scales joined together

at the base.

If you watch

them at

this time,

you will

see a

couple of slender roots

springing from between the

scales. These reach down into

the soil. Then a tiny frond begins to uncoil from the

heart of the bulb.

ones, until it is a good-sized plant. As these fronds

grow, the rootstocks push out from the bulb, growing

larger and thicker as the fern gains strength.

There is a fern, called the walking fern, which has

another way of forming new plants. In August the

fronds are fully grown. Then the tips of some of the longer ones bend down against the rock or into the Soon a young plant with two or three tiny

moss.

fronds is found growing upon the end of the leaf.

20

Fern Growing from a Bulb.

After it

come larger and larger

OTHER WAYS TO START NEW FERNS

Let us see how these young plants start. At first the

end of the frond becomes thicker. Soon a tiny frond

begins to uncoil.

Others follow, until a little rosette

of from three to six leaves is pressed close against the

moss. The young plant keeps its connection with the

'S. c rv »

The Walking Fern.

older one until the next summer.

Then the large

frond withers away and the young fern starts out upon

an independent life. In this way these ferns spread

rapidly.

Notice in the picture the lobes at the base

of the leaves. Sometimes new plants are formed on

these in the same way.

that start young plants in this manner.

There are a few other ferns

21

FERNS

FERNS IN SPRING

The soft air and the warm sunshine seemed to say:

"Good news! Good news!

Winter is going away!

Come out into the woods and fields." What do you

think we found? The robin and the bluebird had come.

Pussy Willow had taken the scales from her winter buds,

and they were all soft and furry.

On some of the shrubs

and trees the leaf buds were starting out. The early spring plants were beginning to put forth their delicate

blossoms. What is that down among the rocks and fallen

trees?

leaves, mixed with brown papery or hairlike scales.

A few weeks ago there was a mass of dead

Now, something green is beginning to grow.

The

parts are all coiled up like little watch springs! There

is only one kind of a plant that comes up in that way. It must be a fern and those are its uncoiling buds.

They are called crosiers.

The crosiers are not alike in all ferns.

Some are

clothed with a coat of silvery-white wool. These are

sometimes called fiddleheads. When the weather be-

comes warmer, they will turn to a yellowish brown and the woolly covering will disappear. Over there by the

roadside is another kind of crosiers. They are covered

with soft, short hairs of a silvery gray. Instead of the one

coil, there are three divisions, which unroll separately.

22

FERNS IN SPRING

In the woods, we see circular clumps of uncoiling

buds. They are thickly covered with silky white scales

that make them easily seen above the dark soil. Along

the stream there are some slender crosiers somewhat

Crosiers with Three Divisions

" Fiddleheads.'

different in shape. They look like little green spheres as they nod at the tops of their long stems.

Here are three kinds that show brighter colors in

their uncoiling fronds.

The first has a stipe of a clear

23

FERNS

" The Green and Graceful Fern, How Beautiful it is."

wine color

thin scales.

part

is

of

with

light,

The leafy

a yellowish

green. Another mass of

buds has a tawny pink

hue.

A third

kind be-

longs

to a fern having

a

delicate frond.

The

crosiers are slender and

the stems are covered with a bluish bloom. The

uncoiling leaves are

of

These

a dull-red color.

ferns

give

a

touch

of

brightness to the spring

woods.

One of our poets

has written the following lines about the fern at this season

"Have ye e'er watched it budding,

With each stem and leaf wrapped small,

Coiled up within each other

Like a round and hairy ball?

Have ye watched that ball unfolding, Each closely nestling curl,

Its fair and feathery leaflets

Their spreading forms unfurl?

24

THROUGH THE YEAR WITH THE FERNS

Oh, then most gracefully they wave

In the forest, like a sea,

And dear as they are beautiful Are these fern leaves to me."

THROUGH THE YEAR WITH THE FERNS

Once uncurled, the ferns spread out their broad

leaves and grow and grow. By the first of June their

waving fronds may be seen in all directions.

Many of

them are water-lovers. These grow beside the running

brook or in the midst of a tangled swamp.

We may

also find them on the rocks close to the waterfall.

"Far upward 'neath a shelving cliff,

Where cool and deep the shadows fall,

The trembling fern its graceful fronds

Displays along the mossy wall.

The wild flowers shun these craggy heights—

Their haunts are in the vale below; But beauty ever clothes the rocks

Where Nature bids the ferns to grow."

During the months of July and August most of the

ferns are full of leaves.

On the under side of some of

the fronds we see the brown velvety spores. Other

plants have tall branching fruit clusters.

25

These are

FERNS

the months to find some of our rarest ferns.

But

this is not always easy.

If you really wish to see

*<•**£•'"

'.&.+*.

Where Some of Our Ferns Grow.

No other plants know so well how to choose their haunts. If you wish to

know the ferns you must follow them to Nature's most sacred retreats.

Mrs. Dana.

them you must search for them in nature's hiding

places. When you get there, you will find other things, too :

the bright-colored butterflies, the rocks with their car-

26

THROUGH THE YEAR WITH THE FERNS

pets of mosses and lichens, and the wild fruits and flowers.

In September some of the late ferns show ripened spores. Then come the bright days of October, when

the t